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|Aug-07-05|| ||tamar: <ckr> It really is guesswork without the account of either of the two main participants. |
So here is my guesswork:-)
I note that Steinitz uses the words "it is said", with reference to Morphy's reason for declining a challenge in 1867. That implies either there was no written correspondence, or that Steinitz didn't have access to it.
You mention the lack of documentation. That troubles me too. I am not certain anyone at the tournament knew how to contact Morphy, or that Morphy would hear of a challenge through others. --It would be helpful to know where Morphy stayed during his visit, does Lawson say?
I believe there was no formal challenge, but Kolisch may have given the impression to Steinitz and others at the tournament that he was going to make his claim as a challenger again, and may have believed by saying it that Morphy would hear of it.
|Aug-07-05|| ||ckr: <where he stayed> I assume it was with sister and mother, Lawson is not specific.|
<Tamar I am not certain anyone at the tournament knew how to contact Morphy>
"He lost his taste for chess entirely,and Neumann told us in 1867 that he never could prevail upon Morphy to play a game. They frequently met at Riviere's house and Morphy would occasionally condesend to look at some variations when the Paris Congress book was being prepared for press."
I assume this to be the same Neuman as the one who played the Paris Turnament although I am not at all familiar with the player. But also that other close friends of Morphy's also played in the tournament (Rousseau and Riviere).
There is sufficient evidence that a challenge could have been conveyed to Morphy. Although, I think that if any of his close friends were approched about a challenge they would simply reply "Morphy will not play chess anymore."
<"It is said"> very noteworthy, and a good point.
Perhaps Lawson makes no mention due to the lack of documentation.
|Aug-07-05|| ||ckr: <Tamar> My particular interest on this topic is due to the fact that Landsberger wrote that after Steinitz defeated Anderssen in 1866 he anounced that he was the world champion. He further stated that Morphy would have been entitled to such a title if he would have accepted and won challenges against Paulsen and Kolish. Since he did not do this the question of the championship was left open until the claim of Steinitz. |
Much of the 'world champion' claim has been discussed on the Wilhelm Steinitz page so this appeared to be the same argument (given for an 1866 event) reoccuring again for 1867 event which, apparently, was not published until 1889.
I had previously thought that the Steinitz quote was two years after the tournament, which would place it at a time when Steinitz was not contributing to the International Chess Magazine. I rechecked the date of the article and found that it was twelve years after the tournament.
I guess that it is instances such as this that makes chess history such an intresting subject.
More Fodder from the Chess Monthly, May 1889:
"We should hardly be justified in soiling the pages of the present number of the Chess Monthly with an allusion to the spleeny and dyspeptic maniac who is raving in the International, were it not notorious that Kolisch despised him even more than we do -- and Mr. Steinitz knows it.
Another reason we do not follow the advice of friends to treat Quasimodo with silent comtempt is, he is not so charitable himself to expect it from those he constantly maligns. Did he hold out his other cheek when Blackburne gave him a smack on the right, both here and at Pursell's and during the Paris Tournament at the hotel. He did not take the chatisement meekly; but tried to retaliate with his cane, which Blackburne broke in twain and threw into the fire; and did not he attempt, in his impotent rage, like a fish-fag, to spit in to his adversary's face, just as he is now doing in the International ..."
I assume that this is regarding the Kolisch article.
Certainly, all does not seem well in Camelot. Even today the subject of chess and chess players seems to incite extream emotions from it's follower's (Kasparov's smacked with a chess board and a world champion according to who). I wonder if there is some correlation between chess and hockey players?
|Aug-07-05|| ||chancho: From reading the Chess Monthly letter one can see Steinitz was not held in very high regard by whoever wrote it. Blackburne and Steinitz had many run ins with each other,the most glaring one occurred when Blackburne once threw Steinitz out of a first floor window.|
|Aug-07-05|| ||ckr: <chancho> I believe it was Leopold Hoffer. The two frequently published articles which demonstrated the mutual affection and respect they held for each other.|
<out the first floor window> Amazing, would have been a excellent match on WWF? :-)
|Aug-07-05|| ||chancho: <ckr> Thanks for that information, and yes, I think it would have been a good WWF match. With both of them using Chess pieces as hidden foreign objects, as they went at each other.|
|Aug-07-05|| ||SBC: It seems to me that a problem lies in how one wants to emphasize or interpret known facts (or in OCC's case, how one wants to selectively utilize these facts). |
In 1859, after Morphy had left Paris, Kolisch narrowly beat Harrwitz (who took sick and abandonned the match, of course) and drew against Riviere. He seemed to hold his own in individual games against all the strong players he encountered and, using this as leverage, tried to negotiate a formal match, via Napoleon Marache, with Morphy in the Spring of 1861. Morphy was still at the height of his fame but retired from chess.
It should also be noted that Louisiana had seceeded from the Union on December 20, 1860, that Fort Sumter was attacked on April 12, 1861 and that in almost exacly one more year, Arpil 24, 1862, New Orleans would fall into Union hands.
Morphy dismissed the challenge but left open the possiblity of a future match in an informal, private setting and without stakes.
In December 1862, Morphy arrived in Paris, escaping the ramifications of the Union occupancy of New Orleans. While there, he played some informal games mostly in private homes of people such as Riviere and Doazon, but he seemed more interested in socializing with the Murat, D'Angely, Colbert and Tremoille ladies.
He seemed also in contact with Gustav Neumann, though it seems they never contested any games. (However, it seems odd to me that in 1867, Neumann specifically states that he couldn't prevail on Morphy to play a game with him - as if they had played before at some other time?) Kolisch was in Paris but it doesn't seem that he ever met with Morphy socialy nor OTB. However Kolisch noted that Morphy had been playing chess in Paris and took that as a foot-in-the-door to assert he had come out of retirement and referred to Morphy's promise to play if he were ever in Europe and had several weeks free.
But Morphy declined the match with Kolisch, citing that the "exception" he had originally considered granting Kolisch was based on his successes at that time but that since then, Kolisch lost matches to players to whom Morphy felt he himself was clearly superior, relinquishing any right to such an exception.
The failure, if there was one, was Kolisch's inability to read between the lines and not Morphy breaking any so-called promise - which was for all intents and purposes, a dismissal rather than a promise.
In 1867 when Morphy returned to Paris. Morphy played no chess though he is said to have looked at some positions from the tournament that had just been played there (won by Kolisch). Steintiz claimed that Kolisch used his victory to once again to (rightfully) challenge Morphy and Morphy declined. Since no one other than Steinitz ever mentioned this 1867 challenge, it might well be that Steinitz was confusing Kolisch's 1863 challenge... or it's possible that the challenge was so informal that only a few insiders, and no press, even knew about it, but, if that were the case, surely Neumann would have mentioned it. At any rate, it seems that Morphy, (outside the fact that he was retired) who was in Paris because his mother felt he needed a change in scenery, was in no emotional shape for a greuling match in 1867.
One more oddity: Steinitz wrote, "Morphy was bound to accept the defi (Kolisch's 1867 challenge) or to abdicate any claims to the championship." What is odd is that Morphy, as far as I know, never laid claim to any championship. Perhaps that was another Steinitzian slip?
When Morphy issued his so-called challenge to the world to play at Pawn and move, I see this as less of a challenge and more of a delimiter. It's not as if he were asking people to play him at Pawn and move, but rather that anyone who could prove by his record he was entitled to play Morphy would again have to prove it by beating him at odds. I've wondered what happened to this Pawn and move thing in all these Kolisch negotiations.
It's also peculiar that Lawson discussed the Morphy-Kolisch controversy, but Sergeant never even mentioned it.
|Aug-07-05|| ||Gypsy: <What is odd is that Morphy, as far as I know, never laid claim to any championship.> It probably is not that Morphy claimed the championship, but that a large segment of chess public claimed the championship for him. |
All in all, one has to have a measure of sympathy for Steinitz' plight: He strived to become the WC and he strived to win the title OTB. But, to be accepted as a WC, the public has to accept you a WC. Thus, while Steinitz could not win the the title OTB from the ghost that refused to play, he had a hell of time of convincing people of letting go of that ghost at the same time.
|Aug-07-05|| ||SBC: <Gypsy>
Steinitz wrote that Morphy should "abdicate any claims to the championship", not that the public should look for a new champion. But it may all come down to semantics or even to perspectives. While Morphy, as far as I know, never overtly claimed the title World Champion, on at least 2 occassions he was proclaimed as such in his own presence and he didn't object. So he might be said to have accepted the title without claiming it. It's undeniable that he saw himself as the best player in the world. But then there's the idea of perspective. I think old school people like Morphy, Anderssen and even Staunton didn't think in precisely those terms... that a title was a thing to be won and then held onto like some precious possession. Rather, it seems to me, they saw it more as a badge of acheivement that once earned was enough. Maybe like winning the gold in the Olympics.. once you win a gold medal, you don't have to go back every four years to try to earn more. I'm not sure if that's it, but I do feel that once the title became "official" it seemed it became more important to have the title of being the world champion than to actually be the best player in the world. Perhaps it has to do with chess transforming from an advocation of amateurs into a vocation of professionals.
|Aug-08-05|| ||Gypsy: <SBC> Yes, the notion of the "King of the Hill" is a tricky one. At times several players gain a credible claim to a part of such hill: best tournament player, best rating (now or in lifetime), strongest active player, strongest player alive, winner of a world cup event.... Steinitz did a reasonable job when he defined WC as being the guy who, in a match, defeated the previous WC. Of course, a'lot is tricky with it, the least problem being that there is no guarantee of transitivity of results; A could easily dominate B, B dominate C, and C dominate A. More serious are the problems of succession when WCs hide from challengers, or die/retire in-office. But, on ballance, Steinitzean WCs served as a reasonable proximily for the strongest player on the planet for quite a time. It gave us a line of guys like Steinitz, Lasker, Capa, AAA,Euwe, Botvinnik, ... and a parade of true chess legends that faltered with the title within sights (Chigorin, Tarrasch, Schlechter, Keres, Bronstein, Korchnoi). |
The Steinitz' WC title has served Chess well. How well, it only becomes transparent when we compare the line of Steinitzean Champs against the recent line of FIDE World Cup winners.
|Jan-05-06|| ||BIDMONFA: Ignatz Von Kolisch|
|Apr-06-06|| ||DeepBlade: Happy Birthday Ignatz!
Really like your Kolisch vs Anderssen, 1861 game
|Jun-17-06|| ||Bartleby: It's interesting that Kolisch merely drew Anderssen and Paulsen in matches (roughly speaking) but utterly annihilated Barnes, Morphy's "problem" opponent (on a curve, that is). Soltis covered the "Difficult opponent" topic in one of his Chess to Enjoy columns, Master A & B might be equal to one other result wise, but enter master C into the equation, and C utterly trounces A over time but the opposite happens with C and B. Marshall used to say he had the "Indian Sign" on certain opponents, like a hex, and Pillsbury said he had "cousins" he never failed to beat.|
According to Soltis, the master who had the Indian Sign on Botvinnik, apparently, was a modestly successful Soviet IM by the name of Ilya Kan:
Kan vs Botvinnik, 1929
Kan vs Botvinnik, 1930
Though on closer inspection it's erroneous; Botvinnik dominated Kan over time and those two wins were long before Botvinnik's prime.
I think it'd be accurate to say Marshall had the Indian Sign on Pillsbury, who had it over Napier, who had over Marshall, in a wee little circle.
|Dec-31-06|| ||Jonathan Sarfati: Bogatyrchuk really did have a sign on Botvinnik: +3-0.|
|May-22-08|| ||kramputz: Stalin had a hex on Botvinnik|
|May-22-08|| ||neveramaster: Chernev:
Baron Kolisch must have been a happy man. He was a chess player, and that satisfied his soul. He was a millionaire, and that satisfied his wife.
|Apr-06-09|| ||WhiteRook48: Happy birthday GM (?) Kolisch!|
|Apr-06-09|| ||whiteshark: Happy Birthday, Herr Baron!|
|Apr-06-09|| ||whiteshark: Bio: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_...
|Apr-06-10|| ||wordfunph: In 1860, George Webb Medley lost a match to Ignatz Kolisch (+0=2-2). Against Medley, Kolisch sometimes took two hours for three moves. After this match, there was a push to have a time limit in chess, which led to the introduction of sand glasses and clocks in chess.|
happy birthday Ignatz..
|Apr-06-12|| ||whiteshark: <Player of the Day>|
He introduced <3...Bb4> in the French Defence here in his London 1861 match against L. Paulsen: Paulsen vs Kolisch, 1861 and Paulsen vs Kolisch, 1861
|Apr-06-12|| ||Penguincw: R.I.P. Austrian master Kolisch.|
|Apr-06-12|| ||juan31: Desde mi perspectiva ( de simple aficionado) Ignatz Von Kolisch = Genio del ajedrez|
|Nov-01-12|| ||thomastonk: His German Wikipedia page states that he did several chess columns in newspapers from Vienna in the 1850s (using the pseudonym Ideka). Does anybody know a name of such a newspaper? Thank you in advance.|
|Oct-09-13|| ||Karpova: <Austria - We have hitherto omitted to mention that Herr Kolisch, the winner of the Paris Tourney of 1867, has lately been created a Baron of the Austrian Empire. Not long ago he purchased a handsome villa on the Kahlenberg near Vienna, and on Sept. 14th had the honour of an unexpected visit there from the Empress and her two brothers.>|
From page 15 of the January 1882 'British Chess Magazine'
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